Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Black velvet vest

We're always trying to come up with ideas at the store to attract new sewers.  Once they've taken the "Sewing Fundamentals" series and made pajama pants and top, they need more simple sewing projects.  A vest somehow fits the bill.

So here it is - my sample.  When I make up samples for classes, I try to choose things that I would actually want to have in my closet, but not something that I desperately need.  I've always wanted a black velvet vest.  It can move a plain white shirt up to party status in a jiff.  This one happens to be McCall's 5887, and it's View A that I did.  The fabric is an upholstery weight velvet, which to me seemed stiff enough without any interfacing, except, of course, behind the buttonholes.  I've been having some issues with my sewing machine and buttonholes on "less than ideal" fabrics, so I had to make a decision on how to handle this situation.  I did not want a disaster.  I had a deadline.  Well, I'm crazy enough - bound buttonholes it was.  (Oh - I also added one extra button - the pattern calls for 3 buttons - some respacing required. )  It wasn't all too bad.  I did hand baste all the bits in place quite well, so that nothing decided to move around as I was stitching.  It all worked well.  The lining was a piece of rust crepe de chine that was left over from a blouse from - I won't tell you how many years ago.  There's more...

Embellishment!  I love the embellishment on late 19th century and early 20th century clothing.  I didn't have time to get all too fancy, but I just thought that it would be rather nice to add something, since this wasn't going into the category of "office wear".  I doodled a design on a copy of the pattern that I made, lay on some carbon paper and traced it off onto the velvet.  I was also limited by what I had on hand, because these moments of inspiration always come at a time when all stores are closed.  I used some black soutache and fine black braid (cording?  twisted stuff).  Had to sew it on by hand.  The machine (always try a little sample!!) made a mess of the cord - with zigzag over top it looked awful.  Besides, I had visions of this slipping and sliding all over the velvet.  Much less stress - hand-sewing to the strains of Mozart.


  1. What a fabulous vest! It looks beautifully made and I love your embellishments - it makes the vest look very special.